13.04.2016 - 17.04.2016 32 °C
Wednesday 13th April - Suchitoto
After yesterday's long travel day, today was a free day and our first in El Salvador.
We met a local guide; Rene' who took us on a tour to the Los Tercios Rock-waterfall
Athough there's only water there 5 months of the year and given that we were in the dry season - guess what -
No Water !
Anyhow we went via the usual mode of transport in CA - by pickup truck and
walked to the rockfall which is made of Basalt Rock (hexagonal structure).
The sheer cliff face was very tempting to climb, but our guide dissuaded me to do it.
After another truck ride later we went to a local Indigo workshop,
Indigo was originally farmed centuries ago and is what the conquistadors came for,
now it is used in a various array of tie-dye clothing.
This was followed by visiting an elderly lady (95) who has being hand-making cigars from her home for the past few decades.
Finally we went on a walkabout around Suchitoto and ended in Bar trying the local maize sprint -
Chuco which is fermented from Corn, You drink it as a slammer with a slice of lime covered in cinnamon & sugar as a chaser.
It was 32c today, really bright so we had a siesta before going to the Cinquera National Park in the afternoon.
We hiked for about an hour uphill to a great view point over the countryside recently occupied by the FMLN Guerrilla Army during the civil war and
then visited a few camps and hideouts used by the Guerrillas during the 1970-80's conflict and
Finally ended the afternoon at some waterfalls, where we had a dip to cool off.
Thursday 14th April - Suchitoto / El Tunco
Up early (5.00am ! ) as we went on an early morning Kayak ride along Lake Suchitoto,
The largest inland lake in El Salvador to see the wildlife.
Irene and I got into a 2-man kayak, with cameras and binoculars at the ready we set off across the lake,
We stopped at a very small island where an "artist" has been living for the last
several years, around his shack where he lived in part of a rock mountain is his artwork and
on top are the remains of an army plane that crashed several years ago.
We returned to our boats and made are way to the swamp marshes and spotted
Egrets, Herons, Wood-Storks, Cormorants and an Osprey.
It was very relaxing paddling at dawn with the sun rising and birds feeding along the waters edge.
We returned for breakfast then set off to travel to El Tunco on the southern coast of El Salvador.
On route we drove through the capital San Salvador (not stopping - even at red lights !).
It was just another busy capital city, although I guess it's a lot different, at nighttime -
At which point I spotted a group of balaclava masked armed police, shotguns everywhere,
Who had a guy, on his knees, with his hands tie-wrapped around his back !
We arrived at El Tunco early afternoon and went for a walkabout, it's apparently a top surfing spot and
our hotel was only 200m from the beach, so we headed to the beach only to find it was all black volcanic sand.
During our walkabout , we tried to find a new local microbrewery that had just been up and running for a couple of years,
But sadly, we didn't and think it may have shut down, so we had a beer ourselves,
sat on the beach and watched some guys trying to surf the White Rollers.
Fish was the speciality here, so we gave the Pupusa's a miss tonight and
had some local grilled fish stuffed with shrimps, watching the sun go down with a cold beer !
Friday 15th April - El Cuco
A lie in and breakfast in bed.
(Well we sat in our porch having home made "Banana Tortillas")
We left El Tunco and travelled east along the coastline for about 3hrs to reach
El Cuco, where we would be spending the weekend to relax by the Pacific.
On route we stopped at a gas station for a break and as we were getting of the bus,
I noticed that the truck parked next to us was a removal van, at which point the rear shutter door opened to reveal a
house of furniture and a large family sat on the two settees inside !
El Cuco, like El Tunco is another coastal resort deigned to attract people from San Salvador for a weekend retreat and
on the first impression, it looked and felt a lot nicer than El Tunco.
Our hotel was on its own actually on the beach and we had a small chalet complete with its own porch and hammocks.
We decided to have a beach day, went waking along the beach and ended the day swimming in the Pacific,
which was really really warm, but had a strong under current.
We then sat at the beachside bar side sipping Margaritas (well it was Happy Hour!) and
watched the sunset over the Pacific, to top it off we both had Lobster for dinner - a great start to the weekend or what !
Saturday 16th April - El Cuco
Skipped breakfast and had some fresh mangos watching the tide, sat on the beach.
(the mangos are collected from the hotel grounds and free to all guests).
We then went surfing ! (well we had a 1:1 lesson with an Italian guy that worked at the hotel).
This was our first attempt at catching some rollers and after a 10 min talk on the beach we had a go,
surprisingly we both seem to get the hang of it and although we were only in the white surf, we both caught some waves and we're off.
It's a great feeling when you catch one and the board really speeds up.
The main town of El Cuco was about 4km down the beach so afterwards we decided to walk there, to checkout the local town.
The sun was very hot again and after about an hours walk we arrived, it was Saturday so all the locals were out on the beach and
playing football or just chilling out. The town was a bit run down, no real shops or bars,
but we found a real local's cafe overlooking the beach and we had some Ceviche for lunch, escaping the the sun for a while.
After the walk back it was time to cool off again so another dip in the sea before having a massage each at the hotel.
We had half an hour each, which only cost $10, the woman was really good, (and strong)
so it felt like 5 rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson afterwards.
Relaxed and revived afterwards we spent out last night at the beach bar.
Today had clearer sky's towards the evening and we got a good sunset on our last night -
sipping Tequila Sunrise's before having some local caught fish.